Drivers: Fernando Alonso (McLaren-Mercedes), Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber), Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari), Sebastian Vettel (Toro Rosso), Mark Webber (Red Bull).

Questions from the floor.

Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Question to Kimi: how do you explain the many mistakes that Ferrari has been doing in the last race?

Kimi Raikkonen:
I don't think that we made so many mistakes. We had a misunderstanding with the stewards or the FIA or whatever you call it and that's only what really hurt us. That's the only... I don't know why you say we made so many mistakes.

Q: (Ann Giuntini - L'Equipe).
To Mark and Sebastian: without any desire to get into politics, would you say that Hamilton's manoeuvres in the last race were not very far from being unfair or not under the agreement you generally have?

Sebastian Vettel:
In the end it was my fault for crashing into Mark's car, so I'm not here to blame anybody but I think it's clear that the rhythm was not there. In the end we are all sitting in the same boat. It's raining, there is a safety car for a long time and it's quite complicated to keep the temperatures in the brakes and avoid glazing them. But at that point I was just distracted, you could say. I was looking to the right and I was sure he (Hamilton) was retiring, there was no power anymore and yeah, all I can say is that by the time I looked back I was already in Mark's rear end so... It's not to blame anybody but for sure the reason was the rhythm was not there.

Mark Webber:
I think he did a shit job behind the safety car. He did a shit job and that's it. He spoke in the drivers' briefing about how good a job he was going to do and then he did the job the opposite way, so we know for next time, it's no problem.

Q: (Jaime Rodriguez - El Mundo).
Fernando, after this hard season do you have any thoughts to continue at McLaren next year?

Fernando Alonso:
As I said, it is not the right time to talk about next year. For sure I have some difficult moments and frustrating moments this season but it's a competitive sport and you always have good and not so good moments. This year I suffered more difficult moments than I expected but nothing bigger than what is normal in the sport.

Q: (Jaime Rodriguez - El Mundo).
And do you believe in miracles?

FA:
I believe in miracles, for sure. I think anything can happen, this is Formula One. If you think the racing is boring or the sport is boring because always the same cars are winning the races and there is nothing to expect from the weekend, F1 is unpredictable sometimes and we have seen it many times, especially in wet races. If you said now that maybe it is raining again on Sunday, then anything can happen. Until mathematically you have no chance in the championship, you don't give up.

Q: (Dan Knutson - National Speed Sport News).
Mark and Sebastian, you were massively disappointed on Sunday night but today you have to go back to work with your engineers. How do you put that behind you?

MW:
As Fernando just touched on, it's the game we are in. It's not lawn bowls, it's F1. We have to pick ourselves up from tough weekends. It was one of the lowest points of my career last weekend, no question about it in terms of being in a position to challenge for a victory. It was taken away not even in a racing incident but sitting behind a Safety Car, so it was very hard to swallow. But, yeah, it's under the bridge, gone. We'll never get that back and we've just got to focus on this one.

SV:
I agree. Life goes on and we are all ambitious enough and don't suffer for motivation. For sure it was a big disappointment for Mark. It was never my intention to destroy my race or his race. It took one or two days maybe but already this weekend we have the next chance and maybe there is a chance of rain on Sunday, so anything can happen. I'm looking forward, I'm not old and so hopefully there is more to come.

Q:
Kimi, I'm from China, so can you tell me what the important thing for an F1 racer is?

KR:
To have good results, a good team. It's pretty normal for us to always try our best and I'm not sure what's most important but I think it's probably having a good team behind you and a good environment in which to race.

Q: (Luc Domenjoz - Le Matin).
Fernando, in Japan Lewis was quicker than you in qualifying. Do you think you have been treated in a fair way by the team or could maybe the team favour Lewis by making subtle changes to your car, like tyre pressures or wing settings?

FA:
Difficult question... I will not answer.

Q: Heikki Kulta (Turun Sanomat).
Fernando, would it have been easier for you if Kimi had stayed at McLaren?

FA:
I never thought about that, but I think it would be similar. At the end of the day you need to do a good job and win races. This year I won four races and maybe four is not enough to become world champion. At the end of the day I don't think it matters what team-mate you have.

Q: (Alan Baldwin - Reuters).
Fernando, Lewis says he had a chat with you this morning. Could you elaborate on what was discussed?

FA:
Nothing out of the ordinary. I received a text message from him last night because in Japan my telephone didn't work and yesterday when I switched it on I received like 30 or 40 SMS messages, one from him. I approached him and said thanks for the SMS. He'd been in Shanghai all three days and I'd been in Tokyo, so I asked him what he'd bought, just normal conversation.

Q: (Victor Seara - Telecinco).
For all drivers, 20 laps behind the Safety Car, what did you think about that as a spectacle for the TV viewers and the spectators?

FA:
Behind the Safety Car it was not too much.

Robert Kubica:
For me the conditions were pretty difficult and the visibility was maybe okay for the first three cars but for the rest it was very difficult to see where the track was going. Behind the Safety Car I overtook Sebastian twice on the main straight without seeing him. He was pulling to the right and I couldn't see him. The conditions were very difficult and if it was up to me I would have kept the Safety Car for longer.

MW:
It was difficult. Looking for a window it is hard for us to get an idea of how intense the rain is when we are in the car. All we know is that the visibility was very very poor. I was particularly worried that when we went back to racing if someone lost their car on the straight we would have a very big crash because, guys, you just can't see anything. Once we got going I think that the conditions for the first few laps were race able, it wasn't too bad, but having said that the field where I was, was quite spread out and it's always more difficult if you have cars close together. But I think the Safety Car was running out of fuel and had to come in anyway.

SV:
I think it was the right choice because it is us drivers on the circuit and to be honest even under the Safety Car, going down the main straight, I didn't see anything and really shit my pants. It was just about guessing. We exited the last corner, I saw the other cars and suddenly there was just all this spray. As Robert said, twice I saw him right next to me and I was like (gasp), what is he doing there! On the restart I was thinking before it was no problem to go flat out in a straight line but in the end you saw nothing. I was looking to the right and seeing the wall and the advertisements and then when that stopped I was looking at the left and waited for the boards - 200, 150, 100 - then somewhere started to brake and when the spray came down I saw the incident at the first corner with Jenson, Nick and Mark. They were fighting and I think I had the best line, so I grabbed third position straight away. But it was definitely right to start behind the Safety Car. It's us in the car and I think you shouldn't mind the spectators in front of the television at home.

Q: (Mark Surer - Premiere Television).
Robert, you got a Drive Through because you hit Hamilton by trying to overtake him. Was that okay in your view?

RK:
In my view it was not okay because from the drivers' point of view I had not hit him on purpose and we had seen many contacts between two drivers and nothing happened. I get a Drive Through and we lost less than six seconds and I didn't gain any position. Unfortunately it destroyed my race. It was an FIA decision of the stewards and that's how it went. We had no time to ask for the decision to be changed. Normally if the accident happens the decision is taken after the race, for example with Nick and Ralf in N?rburgring, but this time it was different. I think that the last time it happened that a driver got a Drive Through penalty for contact was many years ago.

Q: (Peter Windsor - F1 Racing).
Fernando, why is it that you don't have a Vodafone 3g GSM phone that works in Japan?

FA:
Well, I have a Vodafone but it was a Japanese number and nobody knew it, so nobody contacted me.

Q: (Peter Windsor - F1 Racing).
And to Mark, I gather you were ill on Sunday morning and during the race. What did you eat on Saturday night and where did it come from?

MW:
Fernando's phone chip! No, I think it was tuna, it was food poisoning and I was very ill Sunday morning and ill before the race, and ill during the race. It was a very difficult race for me but I was 100 per cent on Monday morning which was frustrating. It was just a 24 hour bug that hit me quite hard.

Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport).
To Mark and Vettel. If Sebastian has been penalised 10 positions at this race, should the FIA also have investigated Hamilton and perhaps taken some sanctions against him for his behaviour?

SV:
I don't know. You have so-called specialist stewards and in the end it's their decision. They called us up after the race because there was a safety car incident. It's normal to speak to the drivers and I got a penalty, 10 grid positions for this race, and from a driver's point of view it's not a question if you agree or not, you always disagree when you get penalised. There's nothing we can change about it, so get on and work and try to be better this time.

MW:
In a normal boring dry Grand Prix they have things to look at but there was a lot going on and it's easy for them to be distracted by other things. I think that's what they can use, not as an excuse, but it was a very difficult race for them to manage and it was a difficult race on the track. In hindsight you've got to have a look back when things have all calmed down and say yes, that wasn't a very good job, but at the time it wasn't easy for them.

Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport).
And the other question is for Kimi. The tyre selection was starting the race on the intermediate in Japan. Do you take the responsibility or was it a common team decision?

KR:
It doesn't matter whose it was, we took the decision as a team. We spoke with Bridgestone, we didn't expect any more rain and we took the intermediate and for sure we didn't take them because it was against the rules - at that point we didn't know that. I guess before you ask me why we stopped so many times, why does it make any difference when we are last and second last behind the Safety Car. As long as we got more fuel in the car and didn't lose any places it was good, so it wasn't any mistake because we didn't lose any places.

Q: (Alberto Antonini - Autosprint).
Mark, I think as a GPDA director, after the Melbourne crash with David Coulthard, you asked for the cockpit side protection to be raised. Is it a concern that in mist and rain the lateral visibility could be hampered?

MW:
I think our peripheral vision, looking forward, the tests we have done so far with these raised cockpit sides seems to be very good for racing. That means wheel-to-wheel and that means driving in the rain.

Q: (Marco Evangelisti - Corriere dello Sport).
For Kimi. You left McLaren and now they are going to win the championship. Any regrets?

KR:
No.

Q: (Carlos Miquel - Diario AS).
For Robert. Did you believe you would have had the same penalty if you had touched with another driver?

RK:
This is a difficult question which I would prefer not to answer. I think this season we have had many contacts between the drivers and nothing happens. We have also had one contact between two drivers which are sitting next to me, and nothing happens, so this is my answer.

Q: (Dan Knutson - National Speed Sport News).
Fernando, you said this has been a very difficult season for you. How much are you looking forward to Monday after Brazil?

FA:
A lot! I am looking forward, no doubts.

 

Comments

Loading Comments...